Fierce

This Mexican-American’s Tweet Went Viral For Repping Their Culture And Non-Binary Gender Expression

Courtesy of Charlie Peña

Charlie Peña is an 18-year-old non-binary Mexican-American in Houston, Texas who is showing the world how to own your identity, unapologetically. The Cypress Falls High School senior shared photos of a magnificent Mexican dress they* got at the swap meet and people are living. Peña spoke to mitú about the response the tweet has received and the validation they hope others like them get from seeing their tweet.

*Peña asked mitú to use their preferred pronouns they/their/them for the story.

This is Charlie Peña with best friend and prom date Jenna.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Charlie Peña

“My original date could not make it so my best friend, Jenna, did a really cute proposal for me. I’m obsessed with RuPaul so it was cute,” Peña told mitú. “We were supposed to take pictures with our prom group but took so long to get ready. We ended up having to eat dinner at Taco Bell, which was totally fine.”

Peña recently went viral on Twitter with an unapologetic, non-binary, Chicanx pride post for prom.


Peña told mitú that they only recently started to use the term non-binary to express their gender identity. They are still getting used to the term but they feel much more comfortable with it now then late last year when they first started to use the term.

But what does non-binary mean? Don’t worry. Peña has an explanation.

CREDIT: Women’s History Month / GIPHY

“Being non-binary means that I do not identify myself with the male/female binary. I am genderfluid, which means that my gender identity varies over time,” Peña told mitú. “I don’t conform with a certain set of pronouns, either. She/They/He, I don’t mind. However, that doesn’t mean that other people who identify as non-binary feel the same way. It all depends on the person and what they’re comfortable with.”

Peña also made an impact by channeling their Mexican culture via their prom dress which they got at a swap meet.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Charlie Peña

“A lot of kids at my school make fun of it for being ‘ghetto’ or ‘too chunti.’ I like to go because there’s a lot to look at, and honestly I can’t find good quality huaraches anywhere else,” Peña told mitú. “I remember walking around with my mom looking for a fruit stand and seeing the full dress on a mannequin. I looked at my mom and I told her, ‘That’s it, ese es mi vestido.’ I tried it on and I knew it was the one. I bought it on the spot.”

Peña admits that some people questioned whether it was a good idea to wear that dress to prom. Peña responded with a resounding “sí.”

CREDIT: Courtesy of Charlie Peña

And for Peña, it was all about owning up to their culture and loving everything that makes them them.

Although there are always haters, Peña garnered lots of support for her tweet.


Peña told mitú that they were surprised at all the positive responses they got for their tweet. As for the occasional haters, they pay them no mind because they say they know their worth, their value, and it took them too long to get to the level of confidence they have to let some salty strangers bring them down.

Seriously, people could not get enough of Peña’s unapologetic proclamation to the Twitterverse.


“[I’m] genuinely surprised more than anything,” they told mitú about their tweet going viral. “I hadn’t been feeling my best that day, so the responses were really reassuring.”

“I hope those like me can see me and feel represented in some way,” Peña told mitú.


Peña knows what it is like to not see yourself represented in media as non-binary and hopes that their tweet can help others find that validation.

Peña’s choice of dress is all about them showcasing what they find beautiful.


“I find beauty in tradition. Although I loved the idea of getting super glam in a ball gown, it’s not really me. I like to honor my culture when it comes to events like this. We are living in times where our political climate is making it really difficult for Latinxs,” Peña told mitú. We are stigmatized in the media by our president. … We are people that deserve respect. By wearing the traditional dress that I did, I felt as if I was making that statement. I represent my people and our customs to make sure that we are seen.”


READ: Here’s Why People Are Getting Super Emotional Over This Father/Daughter Prom Tweet

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Twitter Drags LeBron James So Hard After His Trademark Request For ‘Taco Tuesday’ Is Rejected

Entertainment

Twitter Drags LeBron James So Hard After His Trademark Request For ‘Taco Tuesday’ Is Rejected

KingJames / Instagram

I know I speak for many when I say there was a collective ‘WTF’ moment when news broke that LeBron James was trying to trademark the now ubiquitous phrase “Taco Tuesday.”

Sure, many of us are devout lovers (some may even say super fans) of the Mexican food classic. Like seriously, we stan all kids of tacos. Al pastor. Barbacoa. Vegano. Nopal. Bistec. Todos. But I would never think about trying to trademark a now popular phrase that has already entered the mainstream lexicon. Like maybe I’m just not that bold (slash delusional) but it just doesn’t seem like something a normal person would do.

Enter The King himself, LeBron James.

The King’s campaign to own ‘Taco Tuesday’ was flat out rejected on Wednesday.

LeBron James took a major loss today when in request to trademark the phrase “Taco Tuesday” was rejected by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. James, who has engaged his social media fans on Instagram with his videos of him and his family and friends eating tacos on Tuesday, was rumored to be looking to brand the videos and continue to do what he does best: make money.

The news that the request was denied comes from Darren Rovell, who tweeted out the decision on LeBron James’ request, which followed the L.A. Lakers’ star’s decision to try and trademark the commonly used phrase just a few weeks ago.

All this Taco Tuesday madness began when it was reported that James had filed a trademark request for the phrase.

James filed the trademark late last month through his company, LBJ Trademarks LLC, with the intention of using “Taco Tuesday” for “podcasting services,” as well as “online entertainment services… and social media posts in the field of sports, entertainment, current events and popular culture.” His company also acknowledged their plans to use the phrase for advertising and marketing services. It was only a matter of time until LeBron James attempted to monetize “Taco Tuesday”. 

For weeks, LeBron has been yelling the phrase “Taco Tuesday” on social media and it seems like he’s trying to own the phrase for social media posts and an upcoming podcast.

James applied for the trademark after he began posting Taco Tuesday posts on his social media channels, showing his family enjoying, you guessed it, tacos on Tuesdays (real original, James…)

Many scoffed at James’ trademark attempt, as “Taco Tuesday” is, as the government decided, an extremely common phrase, but according to James’ spokesperson everything went according to plan.

And let’s not forget, a Wyoming taco joint already owns the official rights to ”Taco Tuesday.”

Unfortunately, for James, even though his “Taco Tuesday” request was reviewed, according to Josh Gerben, a small Mexican restaurant in Wyoming actually already owns the phrase, which is pretty hilarious when you consider every single taco joint uses it for marketing every Tuesday night.

Given the fact everyone likes to pile on LeBron James when something like this happens, social media had some pretty A+ reactions to the news. 

That’s right people! #TacoTuesday belongs to toda la gente! I don’t care how many coins you’ve got or what you do, you can’t take that away from us.

Some speculated as to what the basketball great may try and go after next…

Throwback Thursday, Casual Friday, Hump Day, Thirsty Thursday, Flashback Friday, Man Crush Monday…are they all at risk of being trademarked these days?

Many on Twitter claimed to have already filed their own trademarks for some of these popular hashtags. Some hope to beat others to the punch. But given the reason cited by the judge who rejected James’ request – that it already enjoyed popular widespread use – none of these are likely to be approved.

Some took to GIFs to express their emotions.

I mean that’s a pretty accurate depiction of what happened in this case.

While some on Twitter were upset about the supposed double standard happening with this case.

To many on Twitter, this was a classic case of cultural appropriation at work. A person from outside one community was trying to profit and capitalize off the hard work and culture of another community. Many were left wondering where the outrage was at?

Latino Twitter wasn’t having any of this crazy publicity stunt.

Though the group was small, there were several Latinos annoyed that someone from outside the community would attempt to profit off a food that’s important to a different community.

And some pointed out that only a person of privilege and wealth would be able to attempt something like this.

And it’s totally true. There’s a steep application fee just to start the process plus, in most cases, you need a lawyer to argue your case for you. Lawyers are not cheap.

There’s just one thing that this publicity stunt succeeded at…

I’m beyond craving some good tacos right now and no, it’s not Taco Tuesday. But maybe Taco Thursday could be a thing?

A Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

Culture

A Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

@rc_olivas / Amazon

It’s an understatement to say that the beloved Disney movie “Coco” has inspired a generation. Not only do the themes of family and acceptance resonate across all age groups, but the movie’s vibrant colors and catchy musical numbers make it the perfect movie to entertain the whole family. As well all know, the film was created as sort of a love letter to Mexico and Mexican culture. 

In some Latinx families, watching it has become a sort of tradition. 

Many “Coco” fans will tell you that the movie isn’t just a movie–it’s a way of life. 

Pixar

The movie has obviously hit a chord with the younger set, inspiring endless amounts of musical covers, artwork, and blog posts. And of course, the movie has also become a huge hit in the theme-party racket. A simple Pinterest search will turn up dozens of photos of children’s’ birthday parties inspired by the hit Disney musical. When it comes to throwing a “Coco”-themed party, the artistic possibilities are endless!

But the most recent act reverence for the acclaimed film may be the most exciting one yet.

While many Latinas have quinceañeras that end up being more of their mother’s vision than their own, it looks like one lucky Latina got to take the reigns on her special day.  Recently on Twitter, a super-fan shared pictures with the film’s director of  a “Coco”-themed quinceañera. The party was complete with calacas, candy, and ofrendas–all of which brought to mind specific parts of the movie.

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

The birthday girl’s cousin shared the pictures to Twitter tagging the film’s director Lee Unkrich and asking Unrich if he liked it. Olivas shared four photos (although we would love to see more), of different parts of the party’s decor.

Needless to say, the pictures are a sight to behold.

It’s obvious from how intricate the decorations are that someone put in an incredible amount of work. We all know that many Latinx families spare no expense when they’re throwing a Quinceañera, but the amount of effort put into this one may just take the cake.

Just look at this beautiful “Coco”-themed ofrenda:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

If you look closely, you can see that one ofrenda has pictures of what are (presumably) family members that have passed. But on another ofrenda, the people in the photos are all characters from the movie. 

So much thought was put into the fictional ofrendas that the only characters displayed are ones that Miguel meets in the afterlife:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

As you can see in the display, great-grandma Coco sits in the middle. Then, there are Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe in the background, and Tía Rosita on the left. And of course, we couldn’t forget the infamous torn photo of Miguel’s great-grandfather, Hector, on the right. It looks like this family didn’t leave anyone out!

And of course, it wouldn’t be a “Coco” without Miguel’s guitar being featured prominently on one display:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

You can truly tell that this quinceañera’s decorations were a labor of love. The amount of detail that was paid attention to is inspiring. We wish this movie had been around when we turned fifteen!

And of course, the true piece de resistance was the cake, that has the signature “Coco”lettering emblazoned on the top:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

We can just imagine all of the photos the birthday girl was forced to take standing in front of this. And although we know that it’s a tradition in many families, we don’t want to imagine this cake being destroyed at all! It’s truly a work of art.

As for the director, he responded to Olivas’s tweet with the perfect response:

Unkrich must be proud to know that they movie he helped create is helping Latinos truly celebrate their own culture. Latinas from generations past have not been lucky enough to have movies that starred Latinx characters with a well-rounded identity. In the past, Latinos have been sidled with watching stereotypical renditions of themselves onscreen from drug-dealers to “Mexican Spitfires”. “Coco” puts all of those stereotypes aside and simply tells a story where Latinos are shown for their humanity.

It’s moments like this prove that the movie “Coco” is more than just another children’s movie–it’s a piece of art that has touched people’s lives. This further proves that seeing art that reflects you and your culture is so important. Not only does it make  you feel seen in the world, but it can make you appreciate your culture so much more. This is especially true for marginalized groups.